But before you contact all your bookish friends, here are five tips that will guarantee that your book club gets off to a solid start.
Aim for about 20 members initially.
Don’t worry if participants drop out after a few months. Some find that the group is too social or not social enough. Others may not enjoy the book selections. Members have babies, change jobs, or move. Release and recruit.
2-Confirm Meeting Time And Place
Most book clubs meet monthly. Many choose to combine book discussion and dining.
My reading group, The NCN Book Club, meets once a month. We chat for 30 minutes or so and then start our hour-long book discussion promptly at 6:30 PM. Whatever time you choose, be consistent.
3-Establish A Process For Choosing Books
What to read? My mom’s book club chooses a theme for their annual selections, for example, South American writers.
My book club doesn’t select a theme per se, but we maintain a 50/50 fiction to non-fiction ratio. We also have an informal policy of diverse locales and time periods.
4-Select The Books In Advance
This tip alone will save you hours of time—select your books a year in advance. The advantage of this is that you don’t waste valuable meeting time talking about next month’s read.
In December, The NCN Book Club selects 11 books for the following year. How do 20 opinionated, well-read women agree on 11 books? We haven’t perfected the process yet, but I’ll let you know when we do! Despite our lack of formal procedures, we make great choices every year.
5-Assign A Moderator For Each Meeting
Just like a good teacher, the moderator keeps the discussion on track and ensures that everyone has a chance to participate.
Sometimes we don’t have a designated leader (especially when the book has not been universally loved,) and those meetings inevitably turn into free-for-alls, lots of good conversation, but not necessarily about the book!
Follow these tips and enjoy years of rewarding discussions.
Do those of you in established book clubs have any additional advice?